Just a few months after he helped drive Trump's landmark tax reform through Congress, Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, expressed astonishment at the president's decision.
Republicans on Capitol Hill reacted angrily to President Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that he is going forward with new tariffs on steel and aluminum, arguing that the move will harm the economy and that it threatens to start a broader trade war.
Host Chuck Todd then asked Flake whether a Republican should challenge Trump, assuming he seeks the presidential nomination again. "I understand that it's a challenge on the campaign trail, certainly", Flake said.
Cornyn is among the Republicans who've bucked the president on the tariffs, warning that they risk undermining strong USA economic growth and undercutting the benefits of the Republican tax cut legislation passed past year.
Trump announced last week that the United States would slap a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on imported aluminum, which would take effect in 15 days. "But that's not to say it will stay that way".
Brown has always been a critic of free-trade agreements, opposing NAFTA since its inception when he was a congressman.
Flake, whom many speculate has his own presidential ambitions, did not indicate whether he meant to be that challenger.
The rally was sprinkled with mentions of Saccone and the election in general, but for the most part, according to The New York Times, was "in-his-element Trump, vintage 2016: Rambling and fiery, boastful and jocular - the part of being president that he loves perhaps the most".
While Republicans came out against the trade measure, Flake is the first to announce a legislative response.
On Meet the Press, Flake said "tariffs are awful" for the economy and "tariffs married to uncertainty is probably even worse", referring to Trump's suggestion that he may allow certain exemptions and the possibility that the president may impose other tariffs.
"I'm disappointed because we just passed a tax bill and this kind of flies in the face of that".
Flake also reiterated his belief that Trump's behavior as president, such as continuing to verbally abuse the media, "does real damage long term to the political culture" and should not be normalized. "I think the President knows that we're going to have to work that out".